|quick catch up...|
|Tuesday, 18 October 2005 15:07|
On Friday I had the privilege of opening
the Phoenix Unit at Springfield Hospital.
This has to go down as one of the highlights of the last five months. The
previous Phoenix ward was built over 160 years ago and is a classic example of
how appallingly mentally ill people were treated not just during the Victorian
times, but even much more recently. The next time someone raises the issue of
where their taxes go to, I will point out £7m spent on the Phoenix Unit project
in a part of the NHS is often overlooked. The Unit was built on time, and under
budget. The development holds 18 beds (12 high support beds, and 6
emergency/respite beds) and associated facilities and was designed with the full
involvement of a wide range of stakeholders including users, carers, clinicians
and local groups. The Phoenix is a mythological bird that burns every 500 years
and rises from the ashes, and the name is apt for this new Unit.
All of Saturday was spent helping Tooting Islamic Centre and Balham Mosque collect blankets, clothes and donations for victims of the earthquake disaster in Pakistan, India and Kashmir. The response from the public was phenomenal, and by midday the courtyard outside Balham mosque was completely overwhelmed with donations. More than 8 trucks left on Saturday and there is much more waiting to go in a container later this week. Clearly, talk of “donor fatigue” is nonsense! The mosque is taking these to Muslim Hands charity and other DEC charities who will distribute them where they are most needed.
On Saturday, I also had my regular advice surgery at Tooting Library, and attended the annual Patronal Feast and multicultural mass at St Anselm’s Church in Tooting Bec.
On Sunday, I went canvassing on an estate in the heart of Tooting, where the local team and I asked local residents for their views and concerns on issues affecting them. We noticed a lot of litter and fly tipping on the estate and will be taking this up with the Council.
Yesterday, after my advice surgery at Balham Community Centre, I met with senior officials from Tube Lines to discuss the fiasco surrounding the Northern Line. One of the problems with the Northern Line now working properly again is that people forget how bad it was last week, and it is important that we continue to lobby for much needed improvements.
Later in the day, London MPs met with Tony Blair to discuss issues relevant to London. This is a regular meeting we have with the PM and is one of the ways we ensure that London issues stay high up the political agenda.
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